Victor Trumper was born on 2 November 1877. He learnt to play cricket on the streets of Surry Hills and began playing club cricket from the age of 15. In 1899, on his first international tour, Trumper became the first Australian to score a triple century in England. In 1902, on the first day of the fourth test at Old Trafford, he scored 104 in even time to become the first batsman to make a test century before lunch. During this rain drenched tour he scored 2570 runs at an average of 48 including 11 centuries. On his return to Australia over 5000 people attended a public reception in his honour at the Sydney Town Hall.
During his career he scored over 3000 runs for Australia in 48 tests. He played 255 first class matches clocking up an incredible 16,939 runs including 42 centuries. However, it was the elegance and artistry of his batting for which he is best remembered. His contemporary, A. G. Moyes, likened him to 'a panther on the kill' and reckoned that he had 'two or three [strokes] for each ball'. Even among the English enemy he was greatly loved and admired. On the day before a test match the journalist Neville Cardus famously prayed: 'Please God, let Victor Trumper score a century today for Australia against England - out of a total of 137 all out.' Trumper also showed flair on the field taking 171 catches and 64 wickets including two five-wicket hauls.
From the scoreboard in the photograph above you can see that this is the second day of the first Test, England v Australia. In Australia's second innings Victor Trumper reached a century in just 94 minutes and went on to score 185 not out in one of his greatest test match performances. Despite his efforts England won by 5 runs.
Trumper returned to England in 1905 and 1909. The crowds still flocked to see him bat although he did not reach the superlative heights of 1902. In Australia in 1910-11, Trumper was again in majestic form scoring 662 runs at an average of 94 against the South Africans. In subsequent seasons his health deteriorated and he only displayed flashes of his immense ability. His premature death from Bright's disease in 1915, at the age of 37, was universally mourned and drove news of the War from the front pages of British newspapers.